Health is one of the primary factors that contribute to a high quality of life. Unfortunately, many people have health conditions that limit their capacity to enjoy life. Chronic pain, which can result from several conditions or injuries, is one such factor that reduces a person’s quality of life.
It is normal to feel pain when you are ailing or hurt. This pain often subsides after a short period or when the ailment or injury heals. However, chronic pain is pain that usually lasts 3-6 months but can even last several years. It can affect your ability to perform simple day to day tasks and even your mental health.
In the US, chronic pain is one of the main reasons adults take time off work and seek medical care. Based on the data from a 2016 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), approximately 50 million Americans have chronic pain. And out of this figure, close to 20 million people have high-impact chronic pain.
High-impact chronic pain can be defined as chronic pain that limits a person’s ability to work or perform daily tasks on most or every day, for a period of at least six months. In essence, high-impact chronic pain leads to loss of productivity. To make it even worse, conventional pain management methods do not seem to provide much relief to these patients.
As a result, more and more patients are turning to medical cannabis for chronic pain relief. Are you struggling with chronic pain? In this article, you will learn about medical cannabis, how it can help you with chronic pain, and how to order in-store pick up.
What Is Medical Cannabis?
Medical cannabis relies on the use of the Cannabis Sativa plant or its extracts to treat diseases or alleviate symptoms. Though it has been the subject of controversy, this practice has been around for millenniums.
In the US, only 33 states, including Maryland, have permitted the use of medical cannabis in some form. However, more states have similar bills pending. Though research on the medical benefits of cannabis is still ongoing, it has been established that the plant has over 100 active ingredients (cannabinoids), some of which may have pain-relieving properties.
The two most main compounds in cannabis are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). When people use cannabis products, the high sensation they feel is caused by THC.
How Does Cannabis Help With Chronic Pain?
While researching THC in the 90s, some scientists identified the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Though research on the ECS is still ongoing, it characterized as a complex cell signaling system that plays a significant role in regulating:
- Reproduction and fertility
The ECS is present and active in everybody, even non-cannabis users. To help convey messages, the ECS relies on cannabinoids, which are naturally produced within your body (endocannabinoids). When medical cannabis is consumed, the cannabinoids attach to the receptors in the ECS just as endocannabinoids.
Since the ECS system is well connected to the nervous system, the cannabinoids help relieve pain as they reduce sensitivity to pain. Thus far, research also suggests that cannabinoids also help:
- Reduce inflammation which is associated with pain
- Control the side effects of chemotherapy such as vomiting and nausea
- Reduce anxiety
- Slow the growth of tumors
- Kill cancer cells
- Improve appetite and help cancer and HIV patients gain weight
- Relax tight muscles for Multiple sclerosis patients
What Other Conditions Can Medical Cannabis Help Treat?
Medical cannabis is not used to cure conditions but alleviate symptoms. Based on the symptoms it can help with, these are the conditions it can help treat:
- Crohn’s disease
- Loss of appetite and eating disorders such as anorexia
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Mental health conditions such as Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Wasting syndrome (cachexia)
- Muscle spasms
Does the FDA Approve Medical Cannabis
The Food and Drug Administration is mandated to protect public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, medical devices, and biological safety. In regards to medical cannabis, the FDA has only approved its use for two rare and severe forms of epilepsy. These are Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
However, the lack of FDA approval does not point to the inefficacy of medical cannabis, but it is due to the limited research on the same at present. Though research is ongoing many scientists are curtailed as any study on cannabis requires a special license. This is because the DEA classifies cannabis as a Schedule I drug, along with LSD, ecstasy, and Heroin.
How to Get Medical Cannabis in Maryland
Though cannabis is illegal in Maryland, small possessions for recreational purposes are decriminalized, and medical cannabis is legal. To legally use medical cannabis, you need to have written certification from a licensed physician.
However, patients are also required to register with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC). Patients who are under the age of 18 require one caregiver of at least 21 years to be assigned to their accounts at all times. The caregivers are also required to register with MMCC.
Except in cases where physicians make a special determination that a patient needs more medical cannabis, patients can only have 120 grams, which is approximately four ounces.
Medical cannabis in Maryland is only permitted for the following conditions:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Chronic pain
- Severe loss of appetite
- Persistent muscle spasms
- Severe nausea
Along with the listed conditions, medical cannabis in Maryland can also be approved for any other severe condition for which alternative treatments have not been effective.
Always Source Medical Cannabis From Licensed Clinics
Medical cannabis can be used to alleviate symptoms associated with several conditions, but it does not serve as a cure. Therefore, it is crucial to get prescriptions from licensed physicians, as they may also recommend other treatments to help with your condition.
Euphoria Wellness is a facility committed to helping patients make informed decisions for their medical needs and also offers a wide range of cannabis products. For the convenience of our patients, we allow them to order in advance and come to our office to pick up products. Reach out to us today to alleviate your condition and find out more about how to order in-store pick up.